Thanks for joining me again on the concluding part of this article. In case you missed the first part, you can click this link ( http://nigeriana.org/122839.html ) so that you that you can vividly connect with the contents. This is a direct continuation from my last point of stoppage.
I like Nigerians anyway; we are very good at promising what we are incapable of doing simply because we want to earn that feeling of respect and importance. To lighten up your mood a bit, let me digress with a funny but serious talk. I am trying as much as possible to make this article less painful and body-weakening to read. A lawyer friend once told me some law firms in Benin pay as low as N10, 000 in a month. I am not a lawyer anyway but if I were to be one in that kind of chamber, one day I will wear my boxers, one clean white singlet, new bathroom slippers and the lawyer’s wig to the law court to represent my chamber at a big case and publicly voice out my financial deficiency before the judge when the public raise eyebrows lol.
Suddenly, you will see all those guys that seemed hopeless on your street driving exotic cars with the freshest ladies of your fantasy being treated as an option by them. These are the guys that you will always come back to meet at home during school strikes and breaks. Some of them couldn’t talk to you then as a result of inferiority complex. I remember when I used to massively entertain friends at suya joints at nights with gist about life in Awolowo hall OAU, a place crowded by eccentric but highly intelligent students. Gist of life at Awo hall could give strength to a weak person if properly narrated. These boys listened earnestly with little contributions, a times I even spice it up with little lies unconsciously to keep up the heat of the moment. That’s what happens when you talk too much. The gist used to give them that imagination and feel of life on campus because the only vivid idea they have is virtually what they watch on movies. I used to leave those gatherings like a king, feeling so fulfilled in my heart while they all crave for more. But today, they are the acclaimed kings. That is the irony of life. They rule the city, I dance around like Diddy (50Cent 2005) lol. They have suddenly developed the nerves to talk, the society publicly criticizes them and secretly adore them. Don’t get me wrong, scam is bad even though our leaders in Nigeria are great mentors of fraud. We ‘look up to them’. But in life we all crave for good things, these guys drive the cars we dreamed of while growing up, some build houses and own landed properties at a very young age, they tour countries and snap with cute white ladies I only see when I have wet dreams. They wear the best clothes, most expensive wrist-watches and perfumes. They lodge in fancy hotels and in areas of middle-class people, some adults prefer relating with such people to enhance the free flow of alcohol, pepper soup and nkwobi at beer parlours. I know of a guy whose skin is as fresh as the morning dew. He dates the kind of girls we see on Banky W’s music videos. The funniest part of it is that he physically and verbally abuses them publicly but they keep coming back to beg for forgiveness. That’s loyalty at its peak, the kind of loyalty that understands ONLY the language of money. I can’t remember the last time my girlfriend apologized to me for a wrong doing; I am sure maybe a day to valentine when it was obvious I was only trying to pick quarrels with her to avoid the financial commitments of that day.
This situation may be painted in a comical way by me but for those that connect well with it out of experience, it’s actually not. It is demeaning when servants now ride horses while the sons of kings tipped for greatness hold the rope. I have nothing against them anyway, nobody deserves to be at the bottom and education doesn’t guarantee success in life, so if you are into internet fraud, please don’t feel offended by my expressions, I am only using this analogy to drive home my points. Some people have that self-control to ignore such people out of discipline and fear of God while most don’t. You can’t blame anybody, we are not the same. We may look alike but we are different people with differing mind-sets. At the end of the day, out of frustration, you swallow your pride and go to approach these so called ‘established’ guys to show you the ‘way’. That’s an awkward situation. That way is an ugly can of worms that you don’t want to see if you are about doing that.
I was having a drink with a friend one day and he joking said the internet scam is an industry in Nigeria that generates foreign exchange for the country. Weigh that talk a little bit, there seems to be an element of truth but again this is just an evidence of societal decadence and underdevelopment. Believe me, when jobless and poor individuals read the massive amounts of money constantly declared missing e.g. the alleged missing $20bn oil money which no one has a concrete explanation about, they lose their conscience, they channel their energy and zeal into the wrong directions when the right ones are not forthcoming.
An idle hand is the devil’s workshop as they say. Gradually people that are supposed to contribute the beautiful ideas they learned in school to the development of the state reframe them and use them to con people like the case of a first class graduate in Federal United of Technology Akure (FUTA) who designed a fake United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) website, advertising a scholarship programme which a lot of unsuspecting applicants fell for. This could be looked at from the perspective of greed too, well this is social science, and human behaviour can’t be predicted. We respond to issues in different ways, this is very unlike the physical sciences. This article is bound to generate criticisms which I will welcome. Let it be noted that I am only drawing my analysis from the societal angle; I belong to the school of thought that the society imprints ideas on the human mind and conditions his behaviour. A lot of Nigerian youths drive expensive cars around without an identifiable job or traceable source of income. Even law enforcement agents celebrate these people by collecting stipends from them. Young graduates tend to leave school and realize there is no plan for them. The government advocates on entrepreneurship without the adequate facilities to make business grow. I work in a web service company, we can’t work without power or the internet, the amount we spend on diesel alone is outrageous not to talk of the inflated electricity bills we get. A host of other issues militate against entrepreneurs reaching their full potentials and this is a major reason why some companies hardly last for more than a year or two in Nigeria before they fold-up. Now the reputable companies in Nigeria only want 2-1 graduates, so what happens to the majority that finished with lower grades? Probably some of them will travel out of the country to seek a better life, some of them will swallow their pride and become professionals in technical jobs like fashion designing, photography, make-overs etc. Some may venture into clothing business and make a decent living. The rest who have been disappointed by the society after having massive dreams of affluence will join the internet scam industry and soil the image of the country.
A lot of people will say internet scam is a blessing in disguise; they refer to it as a subtle substitution for armed robbery. They believe the society would have been filled with several cabals of armed robbers if the scam industry didn’t employ the desperate graduates. Due to the high supply of labour as against a low demand by employers in Nigeria, labour has been overtime seriously abused. Majority of workers are underpaid. Imagine a university graduate who is 29 years old, earning a sum of N15, 000 in a month without adequate work benefits/bonuses while his transport cost in a week gulps about N6, 000. In a developed country, such an individual of that age is meant to be married with two kids and a decent roof over his head, maybe with a small car he hopes to change when he gets his yearly tax refund allowances. At least Raheem Sterling of liverpool football club is just 19 and he can either proudly or shamefully boast of 3 kids from 3 different women that he is adequately catering for, what about Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere who has a son already at a tender age and is living on his own. Back to the person, how is he supposed to live on the remaining N9, 000 for the remainder of the month? Will he wear good clothes? Will he smell nice? Eat good food? Rent a decent apartment? Have a serious relationship out of an unserious pay? (Where does that happen?). Time flies, the young stage of a man’s life is when his energy is needed by top companies to boost their growth and development. Majority of the job opportunities especially in banks are for individuals that are 26 years old and below. Again, what happens to the others? I went for the State Security Service entrance examination in Benin last year, 2014, that was one hell of an experience. We waited for the exam scheduled for 8:00am in the morning but it never held until 8:15pm, this is not a joke. The applicants totaled 4,000 in number. The classrooms had no electricity, everywhere was dark, resilient Nigerians stayed to the end and bought candles. To cut the long story short, I wrote the examination with the low torch of my power bank which was directly held in my mouth to focus it on the paper. We were seriously harassed and papers were collected in less than an hour while 2 hours were stipulated on the question papers. That was hell on earth. At the end of the day, I got a hint that the SSS only wanted 10 people out of that huge crowd and the approval of these people’s appointment will be done in Abuja. You know the feeling that strikes your mind when you hear the place ‘Abuja’? I am not going further.
We all have an elastic limit, it will get to a point where you just want to prove to the outside world that you can survive without the government’s help, since a guy doesn’t have what he could ‘sell or market’ like a lady, he goes for what other guys do which is internet scam. It’s funny how the Nigerian society creates a very strong avenue for the good to turn bad. Now aged parents who were disciplinarians and holy people when they were much younger eat up their conscience and demand money for their so called sons who are into internet fraud. Some purposely feign ignorance and accept the lies because they don’t want to face reality. This is bad but they don’t have a choice. It is called a bird at hand which is better than thousands in the forest. This agrees with the saying that when the desirable is unavailable, the available becomes the desirable. You can’t blame them; it is just a survival instinct. After all, they heavily invested in the child’s education and at that age would have reaped bountifully if the child was gainfully employed. Imagine a case of you rearing a cow for years till maturity and during the time of famine, you decided to kill it to sustain your family, then a government policy bans the eating or selling of cows. There is no other option to feed your family. Now all you just do is watch the fat cow feed on your sweat and efforts while your family members die of hunger. That’s the scenario of parents watching their educated children sit back, eat their food and roam around the street with failed job applications.
So back to the question at the heading, should internet scam be legalized in Nigeria to ease the unemployment issue officially? My answer is no. No sane country does. We hope for the best in future and expect the worst. Thanks for reading this article thus far. I just felt like sharing my heart pains with you. God bless.